Meta (formerly Facebook) founder Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday said India’s entrepreneurial spirit and massive scale is fuelling optimism about the future and the opportunities that the country presents.
Speaking at Meta’s Fuel for India 2021, Zuckerberg also said he is excited about the role that India will play in building the metaverse.
Metaverse refers to a combination of multiple technologies, including virtual reality, augmented reality and video where users “live” within a digital universe.
“The reason why India is so exciting to me is two things that combined together make for something special – the entrepreneurial spirit combined with the scale of what can happen… That is what is fuelling a lot of the internet economy in India already, but it also makes me so optimistic about the future here,” he said.
He added that India’s talent pool — the engineers, developers and creators, and the vibrant startup ecosystem — are playing a huge role in shaping the future.
“India is on track to have the largest app developer base in the world by 2024, and already has one of the largest Spark AR developer communities.
“The online gaming sector in India has seen a lot of growth over the past few years and our investment in gaming in the country keeps growing as we look at how it’s going to take shape in the metaverse,” he said.
Talking about the company’s vision of metaverse, Zuckerberg said metaverse is going to be the successor to the mobile internet.
“It’s this immersive internet where you’re in it rather than seeing it… This is going to be an internet where you feel like you’re there and you’re present with people and in other places. And, I think it’s this continuation of the technological trends that we’ve seen over the last few decades,” he pointed out.
Zuckerberg noted that the metaverse will not be built by any one company and will need collaborative efforts.
“And that’s what we’re so excited about seeing here in India is the developer ecosystem, the ecosystem of individual entrepreneurs, the spirit around that is one of the things that makes India so special and is (why) I think we’re going to see a huge amount of (the foundation) get built here in India,” he said.
The top executive noted that the company is investing in other growing areas like education and commerce through investments in Unacademy and Meesho.
“We want to continue to partner in all of these areas as we accelerate the development of the fundamental technologies, the social platforms and creative tools that are going to be necessary to bring the metaverse to life… We want to make sure that we can do our part to continue unlocking this (India’s) potential,” he emphasised.
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